May 03, 2018
Having potentially transformed the medical sector dynamics, healthcare 3D printing market has indeed registered significant traction in recent times. The application of 3D printing in the medical domain has helped to remove considerable restrains that were associated with traditional manufacturing methods, such as fabrication, milling and casting. This has opened new possibilities for mass and complex geometric customization of parts that are extremely cost effective.
The cost-effectiveness offered by 3D printing in healthcare can be aptly explained through the example of a kidney transplant. According to the National Foundation for Transplants a typical kidney transplant can cost up to $330,000, while a conventional bioprinter costs only $10,000. It would thus be much cheaper to 3D print a kidney in the future, at a time when 3D printing would become mainstream in healthcare. On these grounds, a drastic cut in medical expenses is likely, along with the simplification of various procedures. As the competitive outlook of healthcare 3D printing market is continuously on the edge of a change, further innovations and developments will be on the rise, propelling Healthcare 3D Printing Market Share.
With the technology increasingly capturing a pivotal stance in the medical space, healthcare 3D printing industry mammoths like Stratasys, Materialise and Reninshaw have been tirelessly working to bring new and improved innovations in this vertical. A succinct gist of the same has been outlined below:
Materialise: Patient specific care to change the face of healthcare 3D printing market
Meterialise has been the first software developer and medical 3D printing service provider that had been sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop anatomical models for diagnostic purposes. With such a clearance, Materialise has contributed substantially to healthcare 3D printing industry with groundbreaking cases. One of them involved the development of a 3D replica of 16-year-old boy’s heart with a tumor. The replica, created with the use of Mimics inPrint, the trailblazing software developed by Materialise to create 3D prints from CT scans, helped doctors understand the tumor better and decide the treatment strategy.
Late in 2017, Materialise further enhanced its reputation in healthcare 3D printing market with its announcement of teaming up with Siemens Healthineers to introduce Mimics inPrint software to hospitals across the globe. Materialise plans to make its software available to radiologists via the platform provided by Siemens Healthineers. Incidentally, the software integration even comprises quick facilitation of 3D printing in clinical situations and contribution to efficient patient specific care.
In partnership with other companies, like the hearing aid producer specialist Phonak, Materialise has potentially reformed the labor intensive and time-consuming process of hearing aid manufacturing with its Rapid Shell Modeling. With the RSM process acoustically optimized, hearing aids can be now produced using a fraction of the time and effort that was required in traditional hearing aid manufacturing. These instances vividly depict that Materialise will continue to make pivotal contributions to healthcare 3D printing industry.
Stratasys: Creating functional models to eliminate research restrictions
Stratasys, having been a significant participant in healthcare 3D printing market, has recently unveiled BioMimics, its realistic and advanced modelling 3D printer that can produce advanced models of the human anatomy for medical device testing and physicians alike. Stratasys declared that BioMimics mirrors the intricacies of hard bones and soft tissue with its multi-material 3D printing technology, eliminating the restrictions that limited the scopes of research, training and testing in the medical sphere.
BioMimics is an upgrade of PolyJet, the existing 3D printing technology developed by Stratasys, and has been designed to capitalize on advanced 3D printing techniques to produce clinically accurate models with microscopic patterns of tissue. Presently available in North America, BioMimics is targeting to initiate its efforts with the development of fully-functional heart and bone models and aiming to develop vascular structures next. It is undeniable therefore, that Stratasys, in the ensuing years, would emerge as a major contributor toward healthcare 3D printing market.
Healthcare 3D printing market is expected to register colossal growth over 2017-2024, having already demonstrated its potential through the recreation of body parts with all its complexities. Medical professionals are therefore focusing their efforts on building organoids, bio-blood-vessels and invitro cloning of the whole human body. With the production of smaller tissue, 3D printed organs are soon expected to replace the need of a real organ during a transplant – a pathbreaking trend in the medical space.
The expansion of the healthcare 3D printing industry can be potentially disruptive to the future of the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector. The cost advantage that the deployment of this technology will provide has already caused a considerable stir in the field of medicine. Driven by the active participation of core companies and the numerous funding initiatives by regional governments, healthcare 3D printing industry is expected to cross $2.2 billion by 2024.